Korean auto major Hyundai unveiled the preliminary information on the next-gen Hyundai Kona EV on December 19, 2022. While volumes are comparitively low, the subcompact crossover SUV recorded impressive growth for the company in November, with the Kona EV variant moving 113% more units compared to the same time last year in America. When it does arrive, we expect the 2024 Hyundai Kona Electric to build on the predecessor’s foundation in the U.S. in driving EV adoption. For now, let’s go ahead and take a look at these two cars in little more detail.
The sloping hood of the 2023 Kona EV (current version) appears far too busy with its multiple curves and creases, as each segment ascends in steps before reaching what looks like a subtle power bulge in the middle. Notice the uniform but distinct panel gap between where the hood ends and the front bumper begins. The slim LED lights that double as the daytime-running lights and turn indicators almost have a wrap-around effect to them. Meanwhile, the triple-segmented LED headlights and the charging port are integrated into the bumper. Lower down, we find side scoops and a center intake vent.
In comparison, the 2024 Kona EV is not only more upright and boxier in its stance but the overall demeanor exudes confidence and clear cohesion in styling. The stubbier hood is more nuanced in its design and bears just two subtle yet prominent streaks, while the Hyundai logo has also been moved further up onto the actual hood. A so-called Pixelated Seamless Horizon Lamp runs the full width of the car whilst integrating three differently-lit sections. The charging port is still on the bumper but the latter has been visually divided into sportier-looking segments, with the new parametric pixel elements significantly boosting the overall appeal.
The side profile of the 2023 Kona EV gets varying levels of cuts and bulges to accentuate its sportiness and chic factor. The flared fenders house chunky 17-inch alloy wheels, while the roof drops down to the C-pillar with a plastic trim intercepting the two for a ‘floating’ effect. The side profile of the 2024 model looks stronger and more planted, courtesy of the squared-off wheel arches and more angular sheet metal. Whilst probably not functional, the contouring roof rails look stylish.
The rear of the 2023 Kona EV gets its fair share of molded body panels, while a body-colored shark-fin antenna is located on the roof. The wrap-around but segmented tail lamps bulge outwards toward the sides and house full-time LED running lights while their partner element is placed lower down – between the two lights on the right side is an ‘electric’ badge. The 2024 Kona EV’s rear looks more modern with smoother curves and funkier LED taillights wedged into the extremities of the bumper. There’s a full-width LED bar here as well, while the revised spoiler integrates a more compact high-mounted stop lamp. Finally, there’s also the new ‘Seamless Horizon Lamp’ cluster in the bumper.
The 2023 Kona EV comes mostly with a black/grey interior with a singular center console unit that gets metallic accents to break some of the monotony. There are similar pieces of trim surrounding the AC vents, engine starter button & digital instrument panel, with the steering wheel, door handles, and buttons & knobs featuring a satin finish. The 10.25-inch touchscreen surrounds are finished in piano black, while the dashboard has smooth and gentle lines all across with a tiny shelf for the front passenger. Much of the backlighting used throughout this cabin is blue, making it feel less drab.
The interior of the 2024 Hyundai Kona EV looks and feels even more premium and spacious, helped plenty by the lighter colors used by Hyundai. The dual-tone effect on the trim found across the cabin and straighter lines on the dash further help matters when it comes to the interior feeling more open and airier than before. The redesigned steering wheel gets paddle shifters plus a chunky-looking gear selector stalk, while the curved digital displays are not only higher-definition but also look nicer. Boosting the in-cabin experience further are niceties like warmer-tone ambient lighting, plusher materials, and segmented upper & lower center console units.
Hyundai has yet to publish technical information or the specifications sheet of the new Kona EV. With the longer wheelbase and taller body, we expect the new generation crossover to offer better space for rear passengers and luggage. More information should follow in January 2023.
Images in this story are compendiums made from media released by Hyundai.